MASHAYKHI BAGS GOLD AT ASIAN PARA GAMES
Mohammed al Mashaykhi capped Oman’s impressive display at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games on Friday when he claimed the gold medal in the men’s shot put F32 event.
And to make the victory sweeter for Oman was Mashaykhi’s teammate, Mohammed al Qasmi, taking the silver for a one-two finish in the field event on the podium.
Mashaykhi, who is an Asian-record holder in the shot put F32 category, was the favourite to win the title and he threw the farthest with a distance of 8.42m in his third attempt to pocket the gold.
Qasmi’s personal-best of 7.26m earned him a silver while the bronze went to Iran’s Younes Seifipour with a throw of 6.98m.
It was Mashaykhi’s second medal at the Games, having opened Oman’s medal account with a silver in the men’s club throw F32 event last week.
Following the conclusion of the Games on Saturday, Oman finished with a total of five medals that included one gold, three silver and one bronze.
Taha al Harrasi was the other medallist, as he picked two medals - a silver and a bronze. Harrasi won the silver in the 400m T36 race and a bronze in the men’s 100m T36 event.
The latest exploits by the 28 year old Mashaykhi underlines his credentials as sultanate’s best para athlete.
He had won Oman’s first medal at the World Para Athletics Championship in London, UK in July, last year.
En route to his silver-medal triumph, he had shattered the world record of 10.39m only to be broken by Algeria Lahouari Bahlaz at the same event.
Mashaykhi also stole the limelight at the 2018 CPISRA World Games, in Sant Cugat, Spain, in August, when he clinched three medals including a gold and two silver.
Organised by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA), the Omani had won gold in the shot put F32 (2kg) category, a silver in the F32 (1kg) discus event and a silver in the club throw F32 event.
The talented athlete had also won a gold and a silver at the tenth Fazza International Athletics Championship held in March in the UAE.
Mashaykhi was accompanied by coach Sonia Mustapha of Tunisia in Jakarta. Mansoor al Touqi, president of the Oman Paralympic Committee, was the chef-de-mission.
Touqi congratulated the athletes and said, “It is an achievement to be proud of and I congratulate the athletes and the coaching staff for their hard work and commitment.”
With five medals including a gold, Oman ended 23rd among the 44 participating countries.
“This is a record number of medals achieved by our athletes at the Asian Para Games and it is a testimony to the allround efforts made to achieve success at the continental level,” said Touqi.
A total of 3,000 athletes from 44 countries took part in the Games. China topped the medals tally with 172 gold, 88 silver and 59 bronze for a total of 319. South Korea finished second with 53 gold, 45 silver and 47 bronze (total 145) and Iran came third with 51 gold, 42 silver and 43 bronze (136).
Mohammed al Mashaykhi (centre) is flanked by Mohammed al Qasmi (left) and Iran’s Younes Seifipour at the awards ceremony in Jakarta on Friday
Taha al Harrasi (centre) celebrates with his coaches in Jakarta